Advice On How To Be Successful In The Transfer Market

Posted on 29th February 2016


Everyone has a different strategy in the transfer market as they aim to build a strong squad and sign some of the best young players around. I’m no different as this was my aim and still is since I took over Castilla in Gold Championship 7 (Game World ID 3065).

I’ve been in Game World ID 3065 since day one when it opened, I believe back in the Summer of 2007. You can argue that I’m now part of the furniture along with several other long-serving managers.

I’m sure my average rating was something like 78 when I took control of Castilla and my transfer funds were very limited. Today the average rating of my squad is 92. It wasn’t something that happened over night as it took a certain strategy that I adopted in the transfer market and still use to this day.

Therefore I think that this article might be useful to those of you who don’t take control of ready made squads and instead like to build from the ground up due to the challenge involved. I’m not saying for one moment that this only works for smaller club’s as it can apply to anyone. You should never let your squad stagnate as I believe that you need to be consistently active in the transfer market to be successful.

Signing the best players no matter the size of your club is always a hard task. The managers who have them, tend to want to keep hold of them and rightly so. From being on the game since day one I knew this was the case. I also knew that it’d be harder to sign players due to playing in a Gold Championship.

As a result, I turned my attention to signing up-and-coming players with lots of potential or those that were having a break out season and had previously been under the radar. You can’t sign every player who falls into either of these categories due to limited finances and also other managers having the same idea.

Yes, there are some managers who still sign every up-and-coming player under the sun and I don’t think there is any skill involved in this. There is a manager in my Game World that takes this approach and you can argue until the cows come home whether it involves any skill or not. However, there is a saying that you should cast your net far and wide when you’re looking for something and I suppose that one or two of your catch will eventually bear fruit.

I had to be more selective in this approach in the early years due to my limited finances. Even though I now have a nice healthy balance I won’t cast my net far and wide as I don’t think there is any skill involved in that whatsoever. Instead I do plenty of research into various players and then make a decision which ones I want to take a gamble on.

Not every up-and-coming player that you purchase develops as expected. I’m old enough to remember the hype from the 1990s in the UK surrounding Sonny Pike and it was interesting reading this article on him in the Guardian a week or two ago. Yes, he hadn’t made his professional debut before he called it a day but I suppose this is a good example to use.

Just ask yourself how many players have emerged over the years dubbed the “New Messi”, “New Zidane”, “New Ronaldinho” etc? Now ask yourself how many of those players have actually lived up to the early hype and fulfilled their potential?

Thinking about what I said earlier now I can see why that manager in my Game World casts his net far and wide when signing up-and-coming players, as for every 50 you sign only a handful of them will live up to the hype and reach their potential.

I suppose the real skill is actually making a call on which of these players will or won’t make it. Without blowing my own trumpet too much I can say that I’ve been quite successful over the years in doing this but I’ll also hold up my hands and say that I’ve made a few mistakes along the way.

Much to my wife’s annoyance I watch an awful lot of football. I also read as many news and blog articles as I can, as well as keeping up-to-date with the footballing world on twitter. I also visit numerous stat sites to see how many minutes players are clocking up. All of this helps with my decision with regards who to keep and who to sell. However, you need to be slightly ahead of the game in deciding who to sell.

If you realise that a certain up-and-coming player isn’t going to fulfill his potential and you leave it too late to move him on, there’s a good chance that other managers in your Game World have also spotted this. This is why you need to monitor them and make that call before they get to that stage in their career.

I usually offer two or three of these type of players to another manager in my Game World in exchange for a more established player. However, on occasions you might need to include someone that you think will actually make it, to help seal the deal, especially If you’re dealing with an equally knowledgeable manager. I have used this strategy from day one and I still use it to an extent now and that’s how I built up my squad.

I often wonder why another managers would take several of my up-and-coming players for a more established one and I think it’s because they want to take the gamble on those players even if you don’t or they might not be as knowledgeable and haven’t kept track on their development. Another reason could be that part of the fun is to watch players develop whereas with some established players they’ve reached their peak. After all, we all love to get the New Player Report message stating that a player in our squad or on our shortlist has had a rating change!

I’ve talked about my strategy on how it helped develop my Castilla in Game World ID 3065 into what it is today. Now i’ll recommend two websites that are worth bookmarking in Scouted Football and Outside of the Boot. I can’t recommend them highly enough as they produce quality article after article by some fantastic writers on young up-and-coming players. The former have also recently released a Scouted Football Handbook on 105 players that they think will make a splash in 2016. If you’re on twitter you can also follow them @ScoutedFootball and @OOTB_football respectively.

Before this article becomes too long and you start to switch off, I’ll briefly touch on how to keep your squad fresh, stop it stagnating and going into decline. You can use some of the aforementioned strategem to keep your squad fresh and in the best shape possible. Don’t just build up a good squad and be content with it. Always look to improve your squad and keep ahead of other managers in your Game World. This is because history has told us that all empires come to an end. Club’s that once dominated their domestic league for a period of time stop doing so. It’s all about cycles. This is no different to Soccer Manager as your squad will have a cycle as well.

Constantly look at bringing in up-and-coming players using the strategy outlined in this article and also apply it to your established stars. I’ve seen some good squads stagnate and then decline in Game World ID 3065 over the years. This can happen to anyone if you aren’t on the ball, all players eventually decline but some faster than others.

Again you need to take a gamble in this area and move the player on before they begin to decline because once they’re on that slippery slope they’ll continue to drop further and further and you’ll find it hard to get a good deal for them. Yes, it might be hard to move the player on because of who he is and their current rating but think further down the line and don’t just look a the present.

I’ve always used this approach and moved the player on in a deal that, at first looks favorable to the other manager, but down the line I’ve made the right decision. As the saying goes, “Those that stand still soon get left behind” and this is very true and the reason why you have to be on the ball in the transfer market.

Keep your eye on how your players are performing by watching as much football as you can, read as many news and blog articles as you can, keep up-to-date with the footballing world on twitter and also visit numerous stat sites to see how many minutes players are clocking up.

All of this will help with your decision with regards who to keep and who to sell before your player starts to decline. Remember that staying ahead of the game in deciding who to sell is key to the cycle of your squad and stopping the rot. Think of it as a game of chess as you always have to stay one move ahead of your opponent.

About the author – Steven Gore

Steven is one of the co-founders of Soccer Manager and has been playing SM Worlds since August 2005. He can be found in Gold Championship 7 (Game World ID 3065) managing Castilla if you’d like to join him.



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